While Joy Glaister was doing hair and make-up with the actors, Ronnie Doerfler and the crew were sorting out the lighting in the Louis Philippe salon which we arranged for Eudile’s famous concert. Laura needed branches to create a vertical line in the transformed room so Mikal and I drove out to the forest to cut more pine branches and other, barer branches. This ended up being useful as we also had to dress the undercroft and were able to use pine branches, potatoes and other tubers, burlap and other stuff to make it look like a descent into some nether region of the world. Or something.
Meanwhile the rehearsals and takes seem to have been going well. Like fellow set newbie, script supervisor, Juan Vasquez, I am finding the behind the scenes action fascinating. First all the actors get into place, then Juan takes a picture of the monitor for continuity purposes. Then the Assistant Director Ram Murali says the name of the film, the scene and the take and clicks the clapper board (as shown in the picture). Ronnie, the director of photography shouts frame, while the boom operator needs to make sure the boom (or microphone) isn’t in the shot. Margherita, as director, shouts action and the scene begins.
Laura Ross, my boss, the art director, checks the monitor for blips in the set. In one take, one of the lamps looked wonky and another one blocked out the frame so we had to move it and “cheat” by playing with our received notion of perspective and placing the lamp in a completely different place.
At some point Margherita yells cut. Ronnie is on the camera, the dolly grip is moving the camera along the dolly tracks, the lights and sounds guys are focusing on their stuff and at some stage, the actors show us what they can do.
In the scene being filmed today, Eudile (Faye Angelina Amaris Adell), plays the harp for an increasingly bored audience of her fellow dinner guests. One by one, we watch them leave, as Eudile continues to play with a passion.
The team also filmed various guests running through different parts of the house, trying to find their missing comrades (or maybe even the larder). We had a guest cameo of Herr Guntram Geyer who played himself.
After countless takes of Eudile’s concert scene and shots from different angles–the lighting has been difficult to get right as it is supposed to be late in a darkened drawing room–people started getting irritable. We didn’t manage to have lunch until 15:30ish. But despite fraying nerves and starvation starting to set in, everyone managed to be polite, patient and professional.
The indefatigable Alexander (Benjamin Stoll) has taken some great pictures which he has posted on his Facebook site here:
Micky La Rosee and Johanna von Gagern took pictures as well:
Ronnie says: “It’s been a great day.”
Tomorrow we are filming the big dining room scene/feast for which Jan Kupec and his super kitchen crew have been cooking non-stop since yesterday morning. The (admittedly lame) joke going round the tables at lunch is that Dining Room is for death. In short, it’s going to be a looooong day. Art has its call at 7:30, because we still need to set up the dining room properly and also block out all the shots with Ronnie.
So with that in mind, thanks for stopping by, San Diego.
PS Our crew is really super super amazing.